Chain Beverage Buzz: Nov. 30, 2009

Portland, Ore.-based McCormick & Schmick’s CEO Bill Freeman stated that the upscale seafood chain will continue with its expansion plans, which call for three new units in 2010. Recently, the chain increased its selection of wines priced under $30 and added a seasonal cocktail menu in a play for younger consumer traffic.

Two new drink programs supporting the Stoli Beri line in national accounts have been developed by MarkeTeam on behalf of William Grant & Sons. Four “Beri’s in Season” cocktail recipes and four low-calorie “Beri Light” cocktail recipes are available, along with a variety of collateral materials including server scratcher cards, Beri muddlers/stir sticks, custom flight trays and more. The “Beri’s in Season” program was developed for establishments interested in the popular “seasonality” trend, while the “Beri Light” program targets locations interested in adding a low-calorie category to their beverage menu or supplementing an existing offering. The Blakberi Mint Cobbler, a fall-inspired cocktail with only 125 calories, is among the “Beri Light” offerings:

Blakberi Mint Cobbler
1 ½ ounces Stoli Blakberi
2 ounces soda water
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
¼ ounce simple syrup
1 orange wheel
6 mint leaves
3 blackberries

In a 10-ounce Collins glass, muddle orange wheel, mint, blackberries and lemon juice. Add ice and remaining ingredients and stir to mix. Garnish with fresh blackberry skewer and mint sprig.

At Pernod Ricard USA, Terry Boyer has been named director, on-premise national accounts. Previously he served as director, on-premise for casual/fine dining national accounts.

Breaking with the a la carte model, Celebrity Cruises began offering unlimited liquor and beer packages this month. The Premium Liquor Package costs $76 per person per night and includes Patron Silver, Knob Creek and others; the Classic Liquor Package goes for $51.50 and involves Absolut, Dewar’s White Label and Jack Daniels. The Beer Package costs $34.50 per night and offers a range of domestic and imported beer.

John Brooks has joined Glazer's National Accounts team as director, national accounts. Brooks will report directly to Randy Porter, senior vice president, national accounts, for the distributor. Brooks' experience includes national account sales of consumer goods as well as industrial sales, and 13 years of retail experience. Most recently, Brooks held the position of general manager for the RoomStore. In that time, he oversaw growth of the company from nine stores to 30, with four distribution centers across Texas. In 2000, as vice president of operations, Brooks managed operations, real estate and construction.

Mark Reinheimer has been named principal of F&B3 (Food & Beverage Brand Builders) and the firm has been retained by Southern Wine & Spirits to represent Funkin Purees and Cocktail Mixers nationwide. F&B3, which is based in Dallas, offers strategic marketing, sales, national accounts and new product consulting services for food and beverage suppliers.


William Grant & Sons has been busy. Hot on the heels of the launch of Stoli Gala Applik — described as having a bracingly crisp, all-natural red apple flavor — the Scottish family-owned distillery was named Distiller of the Year by the International Spirits Challenge in October. William Grant captured the accolade for the second consecutive year and the fourth time in the last five years.

The District of Columbia’s Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration named Health Communications’ eTIPS program as an approved online training and certification program for servers and sellers of alcohol. The D.C. liquor code requires all managers of a licensed establishment to be certified in an alcohol training and education program that is conducted by a board-approved provider.

Rich Shuey has joined the Sun Orchard sales team as director of national accounts - bar beverages. Shuey most recently held the position of senior manager, beverage operations and development for Applebee’s Services, Inc. In his new capacity, Shuey will be responsible for helping the manufacturer of juices, beverages, Margarita mixes and bar mixers expand its presence in the foodservice beverage alcohol category.


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